No one before Bernini had managed to make marble so carnal. In his nimble hands it would flatter and stream, quiver and sweat. His figures weep and shout, their torses twist and run, and arch themselves in spasms of intense sensation. He could, like an alchemist, change one material into another - marble into trees, leaves, hair, and, of course, flesh.  
     -   Simon Schama’s Power of Art. Bernini




Imagineering Wednesdays: Baile Folklorico 

When I was a kid in elementary school in El Paso, Texas, I remember having to take folklorico classes in addition to my regular P.E. classes. At the time I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) appreciate the art and instead enjoyed my after school ballet program. 

Now that I’m no longer a kid afraid of boy cooties with a strong dislike for skirts and dresses, the art of folklorico is quite beautiful.

Baile folklorico literally means “folkloric dance” and is a collective term for traditional Latin American dances. The dances have strong ties to culture and specific regions are known for specific dances. For example, Jalisco Mexico is known for the Jarabe Tapatio (The Hat Dance), Guerrero is known for it’s sintesis and tixtla and Michoacán is known for Historia del Traje de la Mujer Michoacana, which depicts a local folk tale. 

If you are a dancer (ballet, folklorico, contemporary, etc) do your roots play a special role toward your dance style?

We posted this Imagineering Wednesday a while back and we are revisiting this in the hopes that you, readers, will share with us some of your experiences. Dance has a big place in Latino culture. Different regions have different types of dances to tell stories relevant to each one. One of our goals is to tell the untold stories and share your experiences relating to the latino culture. Share with us any stories and photos of you dancing folklorico or any other type of dance! http://smithsonianlvm.tumblr.com/submit

All you Instagram users can tag your images with the hashtag down below! Keep an eye out on here for your images!





The Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico, Central America and in many Latino communities in the U.S. as a way to honor deceased family and friends by creating altars or ofrendas.

This altar, An Ofrenda for Dolores del Rio by Amalia Mesa-Bains (1984, revised 1991), is currently on view in the exhibition “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Mesa-Bains created this work to honor Dolores del Rio, the Mexican actress who dazzled audiences in the United States and Mexico from the 1920s until her death in 1983. More about this piece and the life of del Rio from our American History Museum



On the 2nd of November, the altars are dismantled, then (almost) everything is brought to the cemetery.(Most of the offerings will be redistributed in the community). Honey is bought on the way, as an ultimate offering. The firecrackers signal the beginning of the mass, but also points to the sky…(Dia de Muertos, Michoacan, Mexico)

These are absolutely beautiful images depicting the spirit and tradition of dia de los muertos! Thank you sooo much for sharing. Please post more if you have ‘em:) Mil Gracias!!